18 May Life of Pi Review (monologue)
This is the first question that popped into my mind after reading “Life of Pi”.
Tell me, if you were to live on a stranded island for all your remaining years of existence, who would you take with you?
Richard Parker. Who’s Richard Parker? A Bengal tiger. Why on earth would you want to take a Bengal tiger on a stranded island with you? You wouldn’t last a week before your rickety limbs would crush gently against his mighty hunger. Nonsense, a Bengal tiger is a wonderful exercise of both zoo-keeping and religion. You get to look but never touch, you exercise patience, you consolidate the air between you and the object of your contemplation, in the hope that the stare would solidify, cristallize into a real, sacred, connection. It will be my sandy Noah’s ark and I would be Noah… actually, I would be Pi, if I think better of it. Why bear the name of a fast-food prophet when your name could flow forever, melodically, like a tantalizing dream? Why not love Allah, Buddha, Krishna or Jesus Christ equally, when they’re just a different face of nothingness, nothingness itself being just another name for that mirrored stare that you hope will melt your pale skin into the majestic orange and black stripes of fur?
To believe or not to believe is equally nurturing. But…
To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.
Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…
– Yann Martel, Life of Pi
And every story is better with animals.